METAL DETECTORS AT BIG LEAGUE BALLPARKS BY ’15
Entering a big league ballpark will be a bit like going through an airport by 2015.
Major League Baseball has told its 30 teams they must implement security screening for fans by then, either with hand-held metal detection or walk-through magnetometers.
“This procedure, which results from MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to standardize security practices across the game, will be in addition to bag checks that are now uniform throughout MLB,” baseball spokesman Michael Teevan said Tuesday.
“We conducted testing of these measures at the All-Star game and at both World Series venues last year, and we were pleased that it was effective and received without issue from fans,” Teevan said.
MLB is being assisted by CEIA USA Ltd., which manufactures walk-through metal detectors, and the security company GSIS.
Big league teams have generally limited bags that fans bring to 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches.
In an effort to increase security this season, the NFL limited the size and type of bags fans can bring to games. With the exception of medically necessary items, only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches have been allowed. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags also were permitted along with clear plastic bags approximately the size of someone’s hand.
Masahiro Tanaka rumors: The latest on the Japanese ace
Masahiro Tanaka has just three days left until he must agree to a contract with a major league team or pitch in Japan for one more season. Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. Until then, baseball remains at a standstill.
Everyone is waiting to see what happens with Tanaka before they make their own moves.Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo are waiting to see what the pitching market will be when the Tanaka-bomb drops. There have been no major moves since Tanaka was officially posted.
The star Japanese pitcher is supposed to be the next big thing. He’s 25 years old and put up video game numbers with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He’s also about to get paid very handsomely — Tanaka has received offers for over $100 million from at least five teams already. Many teams have been pursuing him. Here is where they stand at the moment:
Yankees: New York and general manager Brian Cashman have seemingly been fixated on Tanaka all winter long. Even when they were out signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann andCarlos Beltran, one got the sense that their offseason plan centered on bringing in the Japanese star. That makes sense, too. Right now, the Yankees have three sure starters in CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. That leaves two empty spots, which is unacceptable for a team that should contend. According to the New York Times, there has been talk that the Yankees refuse to be outbid for Tanaka. Keep that phrase in mind, because it’s going to come up again.
For now, Wren and Fredi G not signed beyond 2014
With just over three weeks until Braves pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the team’s two most important decision-makers in baseball matters, general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez, are signed only through the 2014 season.
Now, maybe there is something in the works with one or both that the Braves won’t divulge (I know that’s hard to imagine, the Braves keeping big plans private). Maybe before long, one or both of them will have a new contract. But at this writing, Jan. 21, both the GM and manager are the proverbial lame ducks.
Or maybe that’s a bit strong, as “lame duck” can have negative connotations. And I don’t know that this situation is anything more than the typical way the Braves have done these things in the past.
Wren, operating with organizationally imposed budget contstraints, has put together a roster good enough to keep the Braves in the playoffs, or at least in contention, most years. This despite a few questionable big-contract moves. Most notably: overpaying for Derek Lowe and Dan Uggla and giving the largest free-agent contract in franchise history (five years, $75.25 million) to B.J. Upton 14 months ago.
Gattis eager to build on success from rookie year
As Evan Gattis progressed through his successful rookie season, he quieted some of his critics and quickly realized there was widespread interest in his unique journey, which has allowed him to realize the lifestyle of a valet, ski lift operator and Major League Baseball player.
This winter has given Gattis a chance to reflect on all of these experiences and gain a better understanding of why many fans have marveled at all that he has accomplished since walking away from baseball for four years.
But with Spring Training less than a month away, Gattis is looking forward to the chance to prove himself as the Braves’ primary catcher — and in the process, add a few more memorable chapters to his already incredible story.
“These past few months made me step back and look at just how happy I was to even get drafted and then reach my ultimate goal,” Gattis said. “Reaching the big leagues was a success for me. Now it’s just time to go from there and have more good years.”